Single-Frequency, 1,064-nm Laser Designed for Space LIDAR

Redfern Integrated Optics was awarded a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract for further development of its single-frequency, narrow- linewidth semiconductor laser technology in the 1,064-nm spectral region, suitable for spaceflight operation. The external-cavity semiconductor laser is packaged in a standard 14-pin compact “butterfly” package, and produces a single- frequency output with a linewidth less than 2 kHz, ultra-low phase and relative intensity noise, and high immunity to vibrations, all under a wide range of operating temperatures.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lasers & Laser Systems, Lasers, Lidar, Lasers, Lidar, Research and development, Semiconductors
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Ensuring Safe Operation and Accurate Characterization of Laser Diodes

Laser diodes are very sensitive to electrostatic discharge (ESD), current/ voltage transients, and temperature changes, and extra care must be taken to ensure the laser diode is protected during all operating conditions. Unlike general-purpose power supplies or current supplies, laser diode drivers, mounts, and cables greatly improve the protection of laser diodes and allow low noise operation. A temperature controller helps stabilize the temperature of the laser diode packages, which provides for safe operation and wavelength stability of the laser. For fast and reliable characterization, an optical power meter and integrating sphere-based photodiode detectors are often employed where a good understanding of optical measurements is required.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics, Lasers, Optics, Lasers, Optics, Thermal management, Thermal management, Mountings
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Comparing Apples to Oranges: Self-Service Scales With USB Cameras Auto-Detect Fruits and Vegetables

From apples to oranges, from avocado to zucchini — the fruit and vegetable departments of large supermarkets offer an overwhelming choice of fresh products. Consumers benefit from this broad selection, as most fruits are now available year round. Another advantage of self-service supermarkets is that consumers can check and choose the fruit and vegetables themselves. Difficulties start, however, when you reach the self-service scale — how to find the right button among dozens of different types of produce. The vast choice can quickly turn into an ordeal when it takes ages to locate the papaya or peppers button. But there might finally be a solution. A compact, integrated USB camera helps self-service scales automatically recognize individual products.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Photonics, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Automation, Identification
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885-nm Pumped Ceramic Nd:YAG Master Oscillator Power Amplifier Laser System

Reduced thermal load results in a higher-performance laser.

The performance of a traditional diode pumped solid-state laser that is typically pumped with 808-nm laser diode array (LDA) and crystalline Nd:YAG was improved by using 885-nm LDAs and ceramic Nd:YAG. The advantage is lower quantum defect, which will improve the thermal loading on laser gain medium, resulting in a higher-performance laser. The use of ceramic Nd:YAG allows a higher Nd dopant level that will make up the lower absorption at the 885-nm wavelength on Nd:YAG.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Lasers, Lasers, Ceramics
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Terahertz Quantum Cascade Laser With Efficient Coupling and Beam Profile

High-power QCLs can be used in medical instruments, security screening equipment, and illicit material detection.

Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) are unipolar semiconductor lasers, where the wavelength of emitted radiation is determined by the engineering of quantum states within the conduction band in coupled multiple-quantum-well heterostructures to have the desired energy separation. The recent development of terahertz QCLs has provided a new generation of solid-state sources for radiation in the terahertz frequency range. Terahertz QCLs have been demonstrated from 0.84 to 5.0 THz both in pulsed mode and continuous wave mode (CW mode).

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Lasers, Waveguides, Lasers, Waveguides
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Measurement Via Optical Near-Nulling and Subaperture Stitching

This simple and universal technique uses adjustable corrective optics.

A subaperture stitching interferometer system provides near-nulling of a subaperture wavefront reflected from an object of interest over a portion of a surface of the object. A variable optical element located in the radiation path adjustably provides near-nulling to facilitate stitching of subaperture interferograms, creating an interferogram representative of the entire surface of interest. This enables testing of aspheric surfaces without null optics customized for each surface prescription.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Physical Sciences, Measurements, Optics, Optics
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Stereo Vision Camera Reference Design

e-con Systems Inc. (St. Louis, MO) has introduced the world’s first stereo vision camera reference design based on Texas Instruments’ OMAP/DM37x family of processors and Gumstix® Overo® computer-on-module (COM) series. The stereo camera reference design, code-named Capella, includes a DM3730-based Gumstix® Overo® WaterStorm COM, a Gumstix® Tobi expansion board, and e-con’s camera daughter board e-CAM_9V024_STEREO. The Capella reference design comes with a software development kit with full source code for application development on top of V4L2 or OpenCV, enabling customers to develop their own stereo vision camera-based applications. e-con Systems also provides sample applications with source, for applications such as synchronous stereo image capture, depth measurement, etc.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics
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Laser System

Carl Zeiss Microscopy (Peabody, MA) has launched the AURIGA® Laser, a new system that combines the AURIGA® CrossBeam (FIB-SEM) workstation with a pulsed micro-focus laser for fast ablation of material. The AURIGA® Laser examines samples where the target structure is buried under material layers. Ablation with a pulsed micro-focus laser beam preserves the sample, while enabling ablation rates comparable to mechanical removal. The scanning laser is a nanosecond-pulsed, diode-pumped solid-state laser operating at 355 nm provided by Trumpf AG (Ditzingen, Germany).

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics
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PoE Cameras

Edmund Optics® (Barrington, NJ) has introduced new Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras. Each device includes software that allows the user to set area of interest (AOI), gain, exposure, white balance, frame rate, trigger delay, and digital output (flash) delay and duration. The software can also implement edge enhancement, image mirroring and binning, and hot pixel correction.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics
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Laser Beam Analysis System

Spiricon (North Logan, UT) has introduced BeamMic™, a new laser beam analyzer that combines the essentials for beam analysis in a low-cost, entry-level system. BeamMic includes easy-to-use software that measures a beam’s size, shape, uniformity, and mode content. Beam intensity profiles are displayed simultaneously in 2D and 3D. Statistical analyses can be performed on measurement functions and min/max limits can be set for pass/fail testing. Results are logged and can be exported to industry standard formats. A configurable report generator allows cutting and pasting of results, images, and settings. BeamMic software is integrated with one of four Spiricon USB CCD cameras designed specifically for beam measurements.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics
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